I have a 50 pound bag of wheat sitting in my basement, and a whole bunch more stored at my parent’s house. I figured that I needed to find a way to use all of this wheat if I was going to continue to store it. I was a little intimidated to try making 100% whole wheat bread because I’ve always heard that it is very difficult to get a good result, especially when using hard winter red wheat, like I have.
I did a little searching and found this recipe. I have experimented and tweaked the directions, and come up with a recipe that gets good results every time! The trick to getting it to rise is to add vital wheat gluten. If you don’t add the gluten, you get loaves like this:
Pretty sad-looking, huh? They were like bricks. Anyway, here is the recipe:
100% Whole Wheat Bread
3 cups lukewarm water
1 tablespoon instant yeast
6 tablespoons melted butter, coconut oil or olive oil
6 tablespoons honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup
7 cups hard red whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons flax meal (optional)
Pour lukewarm water into a large glass measuring cup. Sprinkle yeast on top and let react. In another glass bowl, melt butter in the microwave and add honey. Set aside. In the bowl of a standard mixer fixed with the paddle, add flour, gluten, salt, and flax meal. Mix to combine, about 10-15 seconds. With paddle running on low-speed, add water and yeast, followed by butter/honey mixture. Scrape down sides of measuring cup and bowl with a rubber spatula and add to mixer. Mix until you have a shaggy dough, about 2 minutes. (If there are still dry ingredients on the bottom, scrape with rubber spatula to combine and mix again until all ingredients are incorporated. Remove paddle attachment and affix dough hook. Cover bowl of mixer with towel and let the dough rest for 20 minutes.
Move oven racks to lowest and next-lowest position. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees. Once pre-heated, leave the oven on for 10 minutes and then turn the oven off. Lightly oil a large glass or metal bowl, set aside. Knead dough by machine for 10 minutes on med-low speed. Transfer dough to oiled bowl and cover with a towel or plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray. Place bowl in pre-heated oven. Let rise for about an hour (until dough has doubled in size.) Remove from oven, and with a hot pad, move oven rack to middle position.
With a sharp knife, cut dough in two. Shape into logs and turn ends under. Place in 2 greased 9″ loaf pans. Place loaf pans in oven, cover with towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes to an hour longer until the dough has risen 2 inches above the rim of the pan. Remove towel and turn oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 45 minutes, until loaves are a deep brown.
I have thought that I need to figure out how to store yeast long-term or make my own starter. I have recently heard that making your own starter is particularly good for whole grain bread, so I think I’m going to try that next. I also need to figure out how to make or store gluten and fats. If you have any ideas, please comment!